tv [untitled] March 14, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
the majority of the comments in the ordinance were received in the fall. in your packet is one more recent letter with seven concerns and i'll be handing out additional letters that we've gotten since the packet was published. the comments are quite diverse and cover a range of different concerns from process related concerns to very detailed and specific legal concerns. to help you understand these comments, the department categorized them in and attempted to catalog the comments in exhibit c. exhibit c lists over 54 types of comments and attempts to describe whether the proposal has been amended in response to that request. in general, this chart shows there have been a number of concerns raised and a number of revisions, i guess a ton of those revisionses that have been made. but, of course, not every ~ request for change has happened. as you request for further outreach, this additional engagement and iterative changes certainly did happen.
next, you requested to consider extending the appeal period. this change has been considered, but has not yet been made uniformly. what has changed is where appeal noticing requirements have been met, the appeal where they have not been met, the appeal window would be open, meaning there is requirements and if you don't meet them, the clock doesn't start running. what has not yet changed is uniformly extending the appeal window for all appeal types. the proposal is at 20 days. today we're going to ask you to ask the supervisor to continue extending that to 30. and lastly, the commission asks for clarity as to the trigger for the appeal window. this is now been definitively defined. the window for appeal would begin at the first approval action and depending on the type of projects. for exemptions of private projects, the first approval would either be at a publicly noticed hearing by the planning
commission or the zoning administrator and these would include your dr hearings. or if there were no hearing, at planning, the trigger would be the first approval at another city body that was publicly noticed. or if that didn't occur, there was no publicly noticed hearing, the first approval would be with the building permit. so, three general trigger starts, public planning hearing, [speaker not understood] or hearing permit. for exemptions associated with public projects, the first approval would be at a publicly noticed hearing and again, if no notice for hearing occurred, it would be the decision by a public body that relies on our exemption and commits the city to this course of action. all public projects would be required to post notice of exemption on our department website. that notice then occurs, the appeal window remains open. those are how the proposal addresses past concerns of the commission. the [speaker not understood]
k24 also describes issues such as the board of the decision body and notice for plan areas that are over 20 acres in size. staff can describe those issues in more detail if the commission is interested. but for now i'd like to move on to the department's recommendation for this proposed ordinance. as explained, the city has been in need of clarity on how c-e-q-a appeals should proceed since the state law changed in 2002 to allow appeals to the board. this proposal fairly provides both additional notification and additional clarity about how to appeal. it would enable valid c-e-q-a appeals to be considered, but would not utterly derail approvals when a c-e-q-a appeal is found to be either overturned by the board or not timely by allowing these approvals to continue while a c-e-q-a appeal is under consideration. the planning commission has
recommended approval of similar proposals in 2006 and both the planning commission and the hpc recommended approval of an earlier draft in 2010 that was contained more elements. but that said, the department is requesting two additional modifications today. first as i said, increasing the appeal window to 30 days. and as you know currently the appeal window for e-i-rs appears to be functional and it is only 20 days. but this type of c-e-q-a document has much greater process and therefore we feel a longer window for the simpler documents with less process is appropriate. to ensure consistency, though, and to cut down on confusion we're recommending that all appeal windows be that uniform 30 days. second, we're asking for increased clarity for when the board is to speak with a decision making body. this may be one of the areas of greatest concerns. since state c-e-q-a law does not require a separate appeal, when the elected body is
approving a c-e-q-a document, no separate appeal process would be required under the proposal. c-e-q-a issues could still be raised when a board is considering the actual approval action. and we feel this is a logical avenue. consider c-e-q-a and the project approval at the same hearing together. that said, to assist the board, the public, the sponsor, the department to understand how these issues would be raised at the board hearing, the department recommends codifying procedures for submitting c-e-q-a related concerns for these hearings in a manner that is consistent with how the clerk currently prepares the board packet. this is consistent with the proposed legislation's logic for submitting materials for the other appeal types that are actual appeals. and explained for the combined hearings where the board is the decision making body. with these two amendments, the department recommends approval and we're available for questions when you're ready. >> thank you.
>> thank you. >> okay, opening it up for public comment, and i have a bunch of speaker cards here. if we can have everyone line up on the right side of the room, there will be no confusion about who is speaking next. calling names ron miguel, dennis moskovian, my apologies, lori lineman, eric brooks, michael raisin, danny campbell, and howard wong. commissioners, ron miguel. i'd like to thank the supervisor for the outreach made. i was at attendance at a number of the meetings. it was outreached to a large variety of both supporters and those in opposition and those
who were before you when this subject came up to you before. i think it was thorough. i think it was well attended. and i think it was well listened to, particularly as the supervisor just told you, there have been at least 34 changes since it was originally involved. i have been reading legislation of one type or another since the late '50s when i was a lobbyist in sacramento. and then involved in c-e-q-a and nepa situations, 16 years as president of par, and been with the housing action coalition and, of course, when i was on the other side of the podium. one of the problems is clarity and certainty, and no one knows
particularly when it deals with cad x's and negative declarations where that certainty is, and there absolutely has been no clarity. regardless of what you may have heard from some members of the public, this is not a change or revision of c-e-q-a. if you want to get into that, go to sacramento. that's not what this is about. i have family members come to me constantly, maybe because i'm now the senior in the family, and show me an agreement, a contract, policy, land use papers, and say, what does this really mean? and we all have that, and we don't need that in the processes and procedures that we deal with in the city. we should know what something means when we look at it. we should know what actions can
be taken, when and where they can be taken. as the supervisor mentioned to you, there is an expansion of the noticing requirements. certainly the 30 days i fully agree with. i have not had a chance to take a look at supervisor kim's legislation. to my knowledge, this has been no general outreach. i don't know who her office has been talking to. a majority of buildings in san francisco are 50 years old or more. anything that deals with that is going to deal with the entire city. if you think you're going to be late tonight, just think what's going to happen if that legislation went through. yeah, i see the smirks and smiles up there. that type of legislation
results in a city frozen in time. it does not allow for the normal, logical, thoughtful planned change that is necessary for san francisco. this legislation, as i say, works. more than anything else, what we have now is confusion, object obfuscation and uncertainty. and we can't let it continue. thank you. ~ good afternoon, commissioners -- good evening, i guess, commissioners. eric brooks again representing san francisco green party, the local grassroots organization in our city. and i've been coordinating the community c-e-q-a improvement team that you received an
e-mail from earlier or yesterday. first i want to clarify, we are not against improving our access to c-e-q-a locally and improving the process. we understand that there needs to be a clearer trigger for appeals instead of the open-ended process right now. we understand that we need to clarify this stuff so it's better for both sides of this debate. because we are not well served by planning staff and the board of supervisors clerk and the city attorney having to make things up as they go along. it is true. and by the way, just to clarify, where the kim version came from, supervisor kim was very gracious to make sure that the piece of legislation that she is putting forward was vetted by the people that sent you that note, over 30
organizations, over 50 active organizers from all across the spectrum, parks groups, neighborhood groups, environmental groups, many environmental c-e-q-a attorneys were involved in this including attorneys from center for biological diversity, [speaker not understood], we also had some advice from stuart flash man, sue hester and susan [speaker not understood] as the note said to you. so, the key issue here is not that supervisor wiener didn't take the first step of meeting with us. it was a little rocky at first, but we did have three full meetings with supervisor wiener, and plenty of time to be heard. and supervisor wiener did, indeed, make 34 amendments to his legislation and we just heard about the 30 days, and that's an improvement. we still do need 60 days for unnoticed projects. but the 30 days is an improvement. however, when it really comes down to it, we have some very
key, very important things that we -- that entire coalition is insisting on. and on none of those key issues were any substantial amendments made in supervisor wiener's legislation. the big stuff wasn't changed like the first approval trigger. that's a no go for this coalition. we need to have a clear trigger, but it needs to be a final approval of a project, not a first approval. that would gut a lot of process out. so, stuff like that was not changed. once we saw that that was the case, we knew that we had to communicate with another sponsor to get something to move us forward. that's what came of the -- that's where the kim legislation is from, not from aaron peskin, from a very large group of neighborhood groups, environmental groups, social -- >> thank you for your time. thank you.
commissioners, my name is dennis [speaker not understood]. i'm a native san franciscan. i'm an active member of both the san francisco labor council for decades and the san francisco community and a parks advocate. and for years had to struggle to help save our community from excessive development. i only give you that introduction for one reason. i felt like supervisor wiener sort of marginalized those of us in the community by his implicit criticism of people, as well as miguel's criticism of obstructionists. i don't consider myself either, and i wouldn't characterize other people that way and i didn't appreciate supervisor using the standard political trick to just sort of marginalize citizen comments. and i think it's pre-sum shuns, frankly, even though i have read a draft of kim's
legislation. i haven't read what was finally submitted. ~ i was part of the process and met both with in one or two meetings with wiener, but i also met with a group of attorneys and other c-e-q-a folks in developing alternatives because of specific concerns. so, let me address my concerns. unfortunately i have to wear glasses. my first concern is the first approval. it has taken all the way down to this point to hear that the possibility is that supervisor wiener is going to adjust his first approval. but as i understand it, it's not all together clear what it exactly is going to be, and i did hear staff's description of first approval. but his first approval was a building permit. it would come out of notice. so, who is going to notify people if the first approval is an actual building permit because it didn't go through any of the process.
secondly, until today, supervisor wiener's proposal refused to budge beyond 20 days and even here in his presentation he said only if you direct him to do the 30 days will he consider it. finally, there is a question of a series of approvals if a project is approved, and then later it's changed, who decides what kind of changes will qualify for an appeal? who decides at what level those changes become substantial enough? and is that something that's going to be notified to the public? so, i think for a number of reasons i would urge at least a couple of thing. answers to these questions. and secondly, that the commission carefully weigh both pieces of legislation since i'm sure they're going to both march forward so that we don't end up with some kind of a situation in which you guys have approved one, and then there is another one before the
board and there is a split at the board over these, but we don't actually get the kind of improvements to [speaker not understood] and appellants that we need. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. my name is michael [speaker not understood]. i'm a member of the park merced action coalition, i live in park merced and i consider c-e-q-a a very important tool to protect the environment and for citizens of san francisco to be enfranchised in the democratic process. and i do feel that supervisor wiener's legislation, which i have followed dutifully as a member of the community c-e-q-a improvement team as well, is going to endanger the participatory democracy that we're entitled to. i think that two things have
really struck me in this process. since november 29th, this commission unanimously asked supervisor wiener to reach out to neighborhood groups and to incorporate their concerns in his amended legislation. the first is that it was very difficult to find out when these meetings were appointed that a number of our organizations weren't invited. we had to hear about it through other organizations that networked with us, and that meetings were set, then canceled and then met anyway without those people who were no longer able to attend. the thing that struck me the most was that this group of 30 organizations was incredibly impressive to me in term of their intelligence, their organization, their substantive issues that they brought forward in an articulate manner. and that the other thing that
impressed me was that supervisor wiener ignored all of them, all of the substantive issues that were brought forward, he said, well, my plan considers that already. i found this stonewalling atrocious. and on all these substantive points, the one that's been brought up already about the first approval trigger which we consider totally unacceptable would allow developers to come up with a permissible request for approval, the time clock would start, and then many changes that developers who we might be concerned about would be brought forward at the end and there would be no chance to question the appeal at the end. also, one of the sections that really concerned us was that all appeals must be heard at a full formal board appeal
hearing without exception. that's one thing we are very strong about and that he has not budged on. another is the current practice of allowing new projects to avoid environmental review when they are within a large project that has already received environmental review. and that such boot strapping of new projects into old approvals should be greatly curtailed. i ask that you please consider that your request to supervisor wiener to reach out -- >> sorry, sir, but your time is up. has not worked and please consider -- >> thank you. thank you. good evening, president fong, commissioners, secretary ionin. danny campbell with the sheet metal workers local union 104. first, i must make it absolutely clear that sheet metal workers local 104 stands with the rest of organized labor e the environmental community and affordable housing advocates in opposition to the efforts in sacramento to
destroy c-e-q-a. it's unfortunate that supervisor wiener's much needed ordinance has undeservedly been caught up in this debate. i'm here tonight to offer our support for supervisor wiener's proposed ordinance. it's reasonable that san francisco's implementation of c-e-q-a will, with the passage of this ordinance, become more in line with the practice of other jurisdictions throughout the state. and finally, i just want to wish everybody a happy st. patrick's day. as you know, this sunday is st. patrick's day. so, happy st. patrick's day to everybody. thank you. >> thank you. howard wong with san francisco tomorrow. several days before last thanksgiving the c-e-q-a legislation that's introduced, it was to be brought to the land use committee the
following monday and to the full board the following tuesday. several commissions were told that it was benign, harmless, wasn't really worth looking at, just pass it. several commissions said, well, we don't quite understand some of these issues. what is the first triggering mechanism? what are the implications? please have discussions with others to clarify some of our concerns and the community's questions. many organizations found out about that introduction of the c-e-q-a legislation by chance because on the planning commission's agenda, the agendized item had no reference to california environmental quality act or amendments, nothing saying c-e-q-a. it could easily have been missed. an example by process has to be
very clear to all members of the public. meetings were held, but as other speakers have mentioned, meetings were canceled. san francisco tomorrow was notified tomorrow there was to be a meeting. it was canceled. we didn't hear of another meeting. by chance, somebody in city hall bumped into a planning department staffer who said, are you coming to the citi qua meeting this afternoon? and the person, what meeting is that? over supervisor wiener's meeting this afternoon. ~ c-e-q-a meeting several people decided to come by to see if there was a meeting and indeed there was. so, the round table discussions also had nine very substantive issues brought up by neighborhood organizations and environmental organizations. none of those were incorporated
in any way in the amendments which were in many ways very minor in nature. the university of california hastings college of law looked at the legislation. their initial evaluation, yes, there were some streamlining of c-e-q-a, but all in all, the curtailing of public participation and the ability of public officials to be making well informed decisions was weakened. consequently, there has been another piece of legislation brought forward which i have not read. it was looked at by many, many others besides the ones who were at the meeting. thank you. >> next speaker, and i'll call some more names. tess well born, lori linder
man, kirsten [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood]. raymond holland, rebecca evans. good evening, commissioners, i'm kierste he n [speaker not understood]. i appreciate your time this evening. i want to first applaud the efforts of the supervisor and his staff to tackle this problem that has been plaguing all of us, which is a lack of clarity and transparency in the process. it's not easy and i also want to thank him for the number of meetings that he held with our community. that said, san francisco beautiful still has major concerns around the legislation as it has been presented to you, particularly around the first approval. and again, just to echo comments that have already been said, if a building permit has enough to trigger this, it's not going to be enough for us to know as advocates that we
need to [speaker not understood] a project. also as you know, projects change greatly between time. a building permit isn't approved by staff at the time the project is built, it's not enough for us to know. we all want to do better. that's why we're all here tonight. so, again i want to thank the supervisor's office, all of the advocates who have spent many, many hours working on this, the supervisor's staff, and also the planning department staff. we applaud their recommendations and encourage you to ask for those, but we want you to ask for more. we want this process to work better and we want to be a part of it. that's all we're asking for. thank you. >> thank you. michael rice, tim colin, kathrin howard, hiroshi fakuda, [speaker not understood]. good evening, president
fong, member of the commission. i have written good afternoon, but so be it. i am michael rice. i am speaking today for myself, but i am currently the president of the glenn park association. my comments are based on over 10 years' experience at project review at the neighborhood level at glenn park, and full disclosure, i am retired from previous employment in c-e-q-a consulting. i believe the proposed c-e-q-a procedures are needed and beneficial. over my years with the glenn park association, i have seen virtually every 311 or 312 notice, discretionary review request, zoning appeals or adjustments and major building permit applications. these are all projects typically processed under c-e-q-a categorical exemptions or in some cases negative declarations. the widely distributed mail or posted notices typically have a 20 to 30-day appeal period. state c-e-q-a law and
guidelines call for disclosure and review of environmental effects early in the project process. the proposed chapter 31 amendments would clarify that the c-e-q-a appeal clock would start at the first approval. and i know there are some discussions about exactly how that would be defined. this makes complete sense. using the current notice practices with added information about c-e-q-a appeals would mean that parties most concerned about a project would know their c-e-q-a rights at this stage. while some had called for longer notice or appeal periods as part of this revision, 20 or 30-day period is fully consistent with state c-e-q-a guidelines. only e-i-rs are normally require a 45-day or optional longer public review period. ~ i was also going to close with the example of the c-e-q-a appeal of the glenn park
recreation center. supervisor wiener brought that up. i just want to add that while i and many, many others in glenn park were pleased with the recreation center project, was sustained and is underway, a clearer and earlier c-e-q-a appeal process would have been the right thing. this legislation would have avoided the confusion. thank you for your time and please move this ordinance forward. >> thank you. good evening, commissioners, tim colin on behalf of the san francisco housing action coalition. you've heard us many times over the years express how strongly we feel in our deep frustrations with the crying need for change and reform of c-e-q-a. it is repeatedly used against proposals that embody our best principles of sensible land use and appropriate urban infill.